tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC May 10, 2010 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT
to keep the same record they did with sotomayor and john roberts and do the hearing within 48 days, the week before the july the 4th congressional recess. as you know, there were already seven republican senators who had voted for elena kagan, but we have heard from a number of those republicans who say this is a different thing. solicitor general is different than a lifetime appointment for supreme court. >> thank you. by the way, if elena kagan is confirmed, it would be the first time since william ryan quis that a judge has had no federal experience. she hasn't been a judge at all. is her lack of a judicial paper trail an asset or liability when it comes to confirmation? share your thoughts with me on twitter, facebook or e-mail. so, elena kagan is the nominee. she's never been a judge.
senator leahy thinks that could work in her favor. >> i would like to see somebody from outside the judicial monastery. her nomination brings a diversity of experience that's been missing since justice o'connor retired in 2006. >> and paul rothstein is a professor at -- and jonathan altar. great to see both of you. paul, is her lack of experience as a judge an asset or liability when she sits before those senators for confirmation? >> well, it's an asset in the sense that she doesn't have all these opinions for people who oppose her to pick at and say, we don't like that opinion and we don't like that opinion. it's also an asset because the supreme court is unlike other courts. i think it requires a lot of diverse experience.
not just experience being a judge. he's been in all three branchs of government. she was a clerk to the supreme court and she was in the clinton white house and then solicitor general. she was also an aide to vice president biden at one point. and i should add, she was a professor and a dean and professors study judicial cases. millions of them. and so, i think this really does give her a lot of experience. >> the interesting thing is that this lack of paper trail makes her somewhat of an enigma when moving forward politically. there was a lot of talk about david suitor. how republicans thought they were getting a staunch conservative. they didn't. what do you expect republicans and democrats want out of elena kagan? >> you never know with supreme
court justices and there are many, many examples of justices who turned out differently than expected. probably the best example is earl warren. after ayeisenhower appointed hi said it was a terrible mistake. in kagan's case, i think you're going to see conservatives who will go for anything they can get. they'll go back to her senior thesis at princeton and say she wrote about socialism therefore, maybe she's a closet socialist. if they say that about the president, you can bet they'll say it about her. democrats will look at the arguments she's made on detention cases and say she's quite conservative on some of these national securities issues. some democrats. very, very liberal democrats, but generally speaking, almost
all democrats and i think several republicans will unite around her nomination and i don't anticipate her having any trouble. >> thank you. we'll get more reaction on president obama's choice of elena kagan to the supreme court from democratic senator ben cardin. we have breaking news from great britain. gordon brown says he will resign this year. it looks like david cameron is becoming closer to becoming the next prime minister. they're talking with the liberal democrat about a deal that would now put the leader in the ten downing street address. put him in the role of prime minister. what we're hearing is that the current prime minister is stepping down this year. the other big story developing today, u.s. stocks
are surging after the european union signed off on a trillion dollar bailout plan to stop greece's debt problems from spreading to the rest of the world. there you're seeing the progress across the board. dow jones, standard & poor's, nasdaq, all way up. mary thompson is watching wall street. this is the kind of vote of confidence for other struggling european nations that investors wanted to see. >> as you can tell, the markets are receiving this news very well. all three up about 4% with the s&p 500 posting its biggest one-day gain in about a year. this is on the news of the rescue package. the gains in the asian markets, a little more modest, about 1 to 2%. the biggest coming from the european. the package is aimed at stem tg debt crisis including spain,
portugal and italy. under the plan, the countries will offer loans and guarantees on loans to troubled countries on an as-needed basis. the federal reserve is also doing its part. it's resurrecting a program to lend dollars to the european central bank which will lend to other eu banks in need. some see this plan as a short-term solution to a long-term problem that requires aggressive, fiscal restraint from the toubled coun etoubled . contessa, back to you. >> thank you. attorney general eric holder says the taliban in pakistan was involved in a plot to set off a car bomb in times square. what does that mean for the bigger war on terror?
mr. president, i look forward to working with the senate in the next stage of this process and i thank you again, mr. president, for this honor of a lifetime. thank you so much. >> there she is, elena kagan, president obama's nominee to be the next justice of the u.s. supreme court. if confirmed, it would be the first time three women have presided over the nation's highest court at the same time. here's something else you may not know about the nominee. early in her career, she severed as clerk to justice thur good marshall. he nicknamed her shorty. republicans have started raising questions about her judicial experience or lack there of. orrin hatch says the more important qualification is judicial philosophy. joining us now, ben cardin, a
member of the senate judiciary committee. you presided over her confirmation hearing to be solicitor general. how do you think this will go moving forward? >> i think elena kagan is very well qualified. i think she'll do just well during the confirmation process, but we can't prejudge it. we have to wait and see what comes out and listen to the hearings, but she did very well for solicitor general. a lot of these issues were raised at that time. she has incredible background. she is well respected in the legal community. the president has made the right type of a nomination. now, it's our job in the senate to have a civil debate and move it in a timely way. >> the republicans are preparing to challenge her and as typically happens, they're doing their verge. john boehner has put forward republican attack lines. he's asking whether other aspects of her record could be
called into question including what he calls her troubling decision to ban united states armed forces from harvard law school. he is wondering whether that might in fact play a role. do you anticipate the decisions she made in those leadership roles will now influence senators in the way they vote sm. >> well, her background is certainly part of the confirmation process. that issue was well aired during her confirmation for solicitor general. i think she did the right thing. she stuck to a principal that harvard law school believed in. they took it to court. when the court made the final decision, she adhered to the decision. we'll go through all that. i just hope it's not situation where regardless of her talents and background, the effort is made to criticize and destroy. this is a very qualified person.
confirmation process should be one of exploring judicial temperment and background and views, but not as an effort to try to discredit. >> all right. we have this response from alabama republican jeff sessions who is the ranking republican on your committee. the judiciary committee. he says it's troubling she's argued only six cases before the supreme court. is that a problem for you? >> i think arguing six cases before the supreme court is more than most of the people who ended up on the supreme court had an opportunity to do. her experience is pretty broad and she is a great background. she knows the supreme court. she's called the tenth justice because the solicitor general works very closely with the justices on the supreme court. she clerked for a supreme court justice. she knows the supreme court. >> senator cardin timeline here. when do you anticipate there will be a vote?
>> well, i know that we're trying to get the confirmation done before the august recess. that's the goal. the scheduling of the hearings will be under the chairman, ranking member. there's a lot of material that needs to be reviewed, but we have ample time to get this nomination confirmed by the august recess. >> thank you, sir. white house officials now say they have evidence the pakistani taliban planned the failed times square bombing. shahzad received training from the taliban on how to carry out the attack. on "meet the press," eric holder spoke about the taliban connection. >> i can say that the evidence we've now developed show that is the pakistani taliban has dir t directed this plot. they helped facilitate and direct it and i suspect we'll come up with evidence that shows they helped to finance it.
>> joining me now from washington, jack rice, former cia officer and criminal defense attorney. how does that change the investigation if there's the suspicion is taliban prompted the attack? >> if we know there's a connection, you can reach back, follow the logistics behind this. if this was one guy by himself in new york, it stops there, but if there's a connection and you can establish it. now, we're talking about training, funding. all of those other people who may have touched this operation may be able to be picked up. >> it looks as though this also has the potential for influencing how we fight terror here on u.s. soil. for instance, you have eric holder saying the terrorist networks are looking for people who don't fit that terrorist profile. does that make the job more challenging for the investigators who constantly
have to be on the lookout? >> no question about it. that's really the difficulty. if we had a certain place where we could say, okay, there's these ten people we're going to go after. we know what they look like. that would make this easy. the problem is, we don't know that anymore. we don't know all the bad guys in terms of those organizations. it's not just al-qaeda. the taliban of afghanistan. other groups are out there, too. on top of that, thaer rye cross-suiting people you wouldn't expect. let's think about jihad jane. all of a sudden, you have a 40-year-old white woman from outside of philly. generally speaking, that doesn't fit any profile. >> i want to also ask you about this issue of miranda rights and when you read right, does it interfere with the information you get. and eric holder was talking about whether the government
will -- let me play it. >> we want to work with congress to come up with a way in which we make our public safety session more flexible and more consistent with the threat we face. this is big news. this is a proposal we're going to be making and want to work with congress about. >> they're talk about expanding that public safety exception. most people coming to the united states intent on terror, aren't they informed of their due process rights? >> that experience is there, but i'm very concerned about this as a criminal defense attorney. what we're seeing with the times square incident and others in the past is that the system of justice we have in place works very, very well and so with miranda being given, that hasn't changed what has happened. if we see police officers say, we've decided, you're one of those terrorist types so we're not going mirandize you. there's a possibility you could
never prosecute these guys because all of the evidence, that could be found to be inadmissible. that would be a disaster. >> jack rice, it's always good of you to join us. >> thank you. so, how's this for the new normal. over a weekend, a bomb squad in florida was called in to handle a suspicious package, donation. turned up on a church doorstep. a 40-pound box wrapped in duct tape. these days, makes people nervous. authorities x-rayed the box and when it didn't work, they blew it up. guess what was inside? $2500 in cash plus nearly $500 in silver coins. apparently, the treasury department replaces damaged paper money, coins survived the blast. the fate of a popular teacher accused of child
molestation will soon be in the hands of the jury, but will the injury yors buy the defense that the accusations are a conspiracy theory? first, we're watching what's hot on the web. bp is working to form late a new approach to the oil spill. maybe a smaller dome since the big one didn't work and the government's considering manmade barrier islands, but bp has just received approval to continuously spray chemicals at the source of the leak. that's new. we'll have a live report on the progress or lack there of. dozens of people were hurt in a ferry crash. that particular boat has a history of accidents. it malfunctioned saturday with 270 people on board. and satellites spot the world's biggest beaver dam. it's half a mile wide located in alberta, canada, in a national park. scientists say the beavers probably started on it in the 1970s. ♪
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a former sunday schoolteacher pled guilty in the murder, rape and kidnapping of sandra cantu. that spares the woman a possible death sentence. last march, the girl disappeared from the mobile home park where she lived. investigators found her body -- closing arguments are underway in the trial of a georgia kindergarten teacher. tonya craft spent two days on the witness stand last week defending herself. >> if you were -- now, what about flirting with men in a formal gala. >> no. i'm not a child molester. >> michelle kosinski has been followed the trial in ringgold,
georgia. >> reporter: there is so much at stake. tonya craft could face the rest of her life behind bars. this is a beloved teacher who has since been fired. she's been charged in a 22-count indictment. prosecutors say the little girls all gave similar stories. they are calling tonya craft a liar. they said that even though many of her supporters here in this town and this case has split this town in two, and online, have said this is some kind of conspiracy theory, that people had grudges against her, but prosecutors say even if someone had a terrible grudge against her, why would they go to this length, manipulate their own children to do so and why would kids this young make up stories like this. and if they did, why would they go along with stories like for
two years now. the defense has said there are inconsistencies and contradictory statements in what the kids have said. they said the kids were questioned over and over and over again by adults and then eventually, they started to tell adults what they thought thepd to hear. president obama nominates elena kagan for justice of the sport. and oil spill das disaster. bp trying anything to stop the flow of oil into the gulf. progress report ahead. gecko: uh, you wanted to see me sir?
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but keens gillibrand says -- josh it seems obvious to me that if you have senators jumping to conclusions to support or leave themselves a little wiggle room here, that's to be expected. >> exactly. i mean, i think the republicans want to make sure that in case anything pops up they want to make a deal about, they don't want to jump on board with a democratic pick. >> if we look at for instance, john boehner here, who doesn't even get a say in who gets seated on the supreme court, but he's weighing in here --
and it goes on. it seems like they're making a mountain out of a mole hill when it comes to this judicial experience cht it used to be common for nominees not to have been judges. >> including the former chief. he didn't -- wasn't a judge before, neither was warren or marshall. i think the right is going to look for any issue to oppose the president. the law school question about then dean kagan, she in fact always allowed the military to come on recruit. she spoke at west point. the number of students going into the military out of law school under her tenure increased. this is an attempt to cause the
president problems, but i think people will realize it's ridiculous. >> how we would dyou know her w working under clinton? >> she was my dean and i can tell you what people are saying about her being a trail blazer is exactly right. in the clinton white house, fighting tobacco, standing up for finance reform. arguing citizens united to stand up against too much money from corporations going into our political process. this is a woman who has incredible integrity, very, very smart and fights for ordinary people. the facts speak for themselves. >> will she have any problem being confirmed? >> i don't think so. the republicans will try, but i don't think it's going to go anywhere. >> thanks. severe storms are expected in the central and southern plains today with a high
probability of spawning tornadoes. forecasters are watching for twisters in kansas and oklahoma with storms descending on arkansas and missouri by late evening. let's go to the weather channel. >> could they could be very dan particularly in kansas and south central oklahoma. that's a area to watch this evening. we have had showers and clouds throughout the area throughout the morning hours and that actually could be good news for the region because it serves to limit the amount of heating that's necessary to build the strongest of thunderstorms. so just how much clearing we get, when that happens, will determine pretty much how strong these thunderstorms get. we expect clearing. we expect to see the warm front move northward and along with it, warmer air and plentiful moisture. watch out from wichita to
oklahoma city, tulsa, joplin, missouri. a widespread area for potential long track tornadoes and over night threat to little rock and illinois. watch the skies, wahotch the forecast. casey a anthony was back in court today. judge perry said a jury would be brought in from another county which anthony's attorney pushed for. a decision wasn't made on whether photos taken of casey could be presented at trial. developing now, bp says it's received permission to spray continuously, chemical dispersants. let's go to tom in dauphin island, alabama. you're seeing tar balls now
washing up on shore? >> reporter: that was on saturday. right now, the national guard is laying down these large containment boxes and the purpose is to absorb any oil sheen. they found six and they are now being tested to see where they came from. west of here at the oil leak, bp is now trying to consider other options after the dome failed to do its purpose here and they're trying to figure out the best option to plug up that leak. one is a top hat dome. that's going to be a smaller dome that's going to be lowered down into that blowout preventer. the other option is what they call the junk shot. that's going to be a controlled blast of debris that will include golf balls, tire shards. they're hoping that will plug up the hole at this point, but
that's about two weeks ago. in the meantime, there's about 210,000 gallons of oil being leaked. so they're under the gun. >> thanks. other big stories making news, on the view, barbara walters made a bombshell announcement. >> later this week, i'm going to have surgery to replace one faulty heart valve. now, lots of people have done this and i have known of this condition for a while now and my doctors and i have decided that this is the best time to do the surgery. >> walters will be gone from the table until september. she called her surgery serious, but routine. president obama took a swipe at technology over the weekend at hampton university in virginia. >> with ipods, play stations, none of which i know how to
work, information becomes a distraction. a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment. >> the day before, the first lady spoke at the university of arkansas. she warned graduated on hard work and commitment. the ratings are in. betty white rocked "saturday night live," giving the show its highest numbers in 18 months. here's one example. >> the campaign to get me to host "saturday night live." i didn't know what facebook was. and now that i do know what it is, i have to say, it sounds like a huge waste of time. people say, but betty, facebook is a great way to connect with old friends. well, at my age, if i want to connect with old friends, i need
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a preview of the problem of obesity may be seen in newborn babies. researchers say as the body mass of pregnant women increases, so did the body fat composition in newborns. obesity can lead to pregnancy related complications. we're getting breaking news from the united kingdom where gordon brown says he will step aside by september, but before he goes, he will facilitate discussions between liberal democrats. david cameron is edging closer to becoming the next british
prime minister. the tea party here took out a three-term republican senator in utah because wasn't conservative enough. senator bob bennett won't be on the ballot in november. instead, mike lee and tim bridge water will fight for the gop nod. neither has ever held office. this weekend, was obviously emotional. >> the political atmosphere obviously has been toxic and it's very clear that some of the votes that i have cast have added to the toxic environment. for my congratulations as i say to who ever wins, but i assure him he will not have any more loyal, dedicated or efficient staff than i have had. >> to what do you attribute your success? here was senator bennett, a long time senator.
has a legacy in politics and is considered by the rest of the country to be arch conservative. what does it say about the state of the gop that he wasn't conservative enough for utah? >> well, it's not just c conservati conservatism. i believe people feel the government is out of control. they have ignored the reforms for entitlement, cut spending programs and most people are saying we need to move the country in a different direction. that was a largest block of delegate voters on saturday felt the direction of the country is their biggest concern and they need to send a new generation of leaders. >> and how is the tea party influencing what's happening in utah politics? >> delegates were comprised of 3500 registered republicans. the tea party here in utah at least, is a cross section of republicans and independents. they did play a role.
about a third of the delegates were affiliated with the tea party movement. i believe it's a movement that needs to be heard across the country. they are tired of out of control government spending. they believe that we are being ignored at the grass roots of this country and president obama has moved us in the direction many people on the ground here in utah and across the country, it's really frightening. moved to the left that depends more on government and less on the private sector. we want to take the country back and get government out of the business of being investing in companies and bailing out banks and insurance companies. most of the voters on the ground here felt the government the moving the wrong direction. this is a message to washington to stop spending the people's money and start cutting back on programs and turning power back to the people.
there's also a sentiment among delegates that the institution is being completely ignored. >> and do you think that this is a political season in which any incumbent, no matter their political standing, would face a tough road ahead because of that sentiment? because of that sentiment regardless even of party hee, that the government is just heading the wrong way. >> absolutely. i think any incumbent of either party is at risk in this election cycle. we felt this movement more than a year ago where people were just tired of washington cramming things down our throats. you look at the obama health care bill and a large majority of the people did not want that passed and yet washington said you're going to take it whether you want it or not. i think this is part of rebellion against the class in washington that feels they have all the answers and we don't know what we're talking about out here in middle america. >> he was one of two candidates coming out of the gop convention in utah this weekend.
if bridgewater had received just 3% more of the vote, he would have taken the gop nomination and they could have fore gone a june primary. he'll face off against mike lee. a difficult situation. that's what he seems to be telling me. later today in about an hour and a half, president obama's holding a series of closed door meetings. first, with bp officials, then tim geithner, then the secretary of energy. in five hours, attorneys will be in a courtroom and have requested to look at transcript frs the 1970s case. and laura bush will appear on "the tonight show" with jay leno. [ male announcer ] when you start with simple ingredients,
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iran. they were hiking and said they thought they were in iraq and had accidentally crossed into iran. iran accused them of spying. they're still being held, but now, iran apparently is going to let their families come and visit them. we're also getting new information on a suicide bomber in basra. it looks like they were several bombings that hit the city. the death toll for today, nearly 100 people there. police and hospital officials said dozens more were injured. let me bring in richard engel. generally speaking, how bad is the violence in iraq? >> it's getting worse in the last several weeks. these bombings today were mostly focused on shiite places in the town of hila. the textile factory was hit. several government check points
were hit across the city. they're happening because there's a serious power vacuuva. two months after elections, it seems the sunnis are going to be isolated from the current government. a very, very serious situation. unless there is a government soon, this gives a tremendous opportunity for groups like al-qaeda to try and make a reinser jensen. the u.s. is drawing down forces. there's no government. al-qaeda's been weakened, but not eliminated. >> it looks like most american casualties now are happening in afghanistan and we have some work on that front. karzai coming to the united states. it look like hamid karzai is trying to dial back some of the rhetoric that's been spewed over
there and president obama is telling his top staff, speak more politely when talking about the president of afghanistan. where do they go from here? >> going back to iraq, the reason you're not seeing many casualties is that u.s. forces are pretty much confined to their bases and playing little of a role in engaging in security. a totally different scenario in afghanistan. u.s. forces are out on the front line trying to secure territory, trying to fight the taliban and there are about 100,000 troops in afghanistan right now and there has been a decision by the obama administration to embrace karzai more closely, to pull him to the chest. for the first time, really, this is a new approach by the obama administration. obama has been very cold to president karzai and karzai has been offended by that. he felt he's been lectured by not only president obama directly, but by senior
diplomats in particular in the obama administration, people like holbrooke, people like the ambassador to kabul. so, right now, you're seeing a different approach by the white house to bring him here, host him for a long visit. he'll be in washington all week. today was mostly a travel day. the real meeting begins tuesday, wednesday and thursday. i think instead of seeing this cold, lecturing tone that hasn't worked much from karzai, you'll see him trying to find common ground. >> thank you for putting that into perspective. and the big news we're following today is the president's nomination of elena kagan, currently the solicitor general to the supreme court, for the -- to be a justice there. she's never been a judge before and a lot of response to this online. mike writes --
eric responds -- if you're a former white house council, you know the law of the land. that wraps up this hour for me. appreciate you've watched me on television as well. see you back here tomorrow. up next, "andrea mitchell reports." ck from a bachelor pary with my buddy mike, who is a terrible, terrible dancer. he's actually right behind... what up, mike? hey, dude! [ laughs ] yeah, this is how he dances. uhhh! [ laughs ] it's, uh, haunting. anyway, while i was away, the e-trade machine... thanks, martha. ...worked its technomagic, triggered my stop loss orders, saved me a pantload! [ pilot ] please fasten your seatbelts. dad? no, mike, that's the pilot. he's making an announcement! dad? ugh. [ male announcer ] upgrade to first class investing technology at e-trade.
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♪ ♪ ay, yay, yay, yay ♪ ay, yay, yay, yay ♪ ♪ ♪ baby, baby, baby, baby... uh-oh ♪ ♪ right now, president obama nominates elena kagan to replace john paul stevens on the supreme court. if confirmed, she would be the fourth woman justice to serve. the third on this court, setting a new record. >> she is respected and admired not just for her intellect and record of achievement, but her
temper, her openness to a broad array of viewpoints. a habit of understanding before disagr disagreeing. her fair mindedness. >> kagan calls her nomination an honor of a lifetime. >> i've had the simple joy of teaching. of trying to communicate to students why i so love the law. not just because it's challenging and endlessly interesting, although it certainly is that, but because law matters. because it keeps us safe. because it protects our most fundamental rights and freedoms and because it is the foundation of our democracy. >> kagan had seven republican votes when she was confirmed last year as solicitor general, but some of her past republican supporters say voting for a lifetime appointment is a different test.
this hour, valerie jarrett, federal judge -- senator amy klobuchar. a very big day here in washington. anytime a president of the united states gets to nominate someone to the supreme court, it is a legacy moment for that senator. for that president. and of course as we look to the senate, we see the battle beginning. elena kagan would not only be the third woman to sit on the court, but the third -- since 1972 and he ended up as chief justice. republicans are attacking kagan's quote, lack of judicial experience. pat leahy dismissed that argument. >> president could nominate moses, in fact, i told the president, i said you realize if you would have nominated moses is law giver, but